Blu-Ray Review: Little Murders

Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist and cartoonist who also won an Academy Award for best animated short for the film Munro. Whilst he achieved the majority of his fame as a cartoonist, Feiffer was also an accomplished author, playwright and screenwriter. As well as writing a number of his own plays, he’s scripted films for Robert Altman and Alain Resnais. He adapted his own play for Alan Arkin’s first feature film, Little Murders.

New York is a city rife with street crime, noise, litter, vandalism, blackouts and a rapidly rising homicide rate. When Patsy Newquist (Marcia Rodd) witnesses the defenceless Alfred (Elliott Gould) being set-upon by a street gang, she intervenes. Only to discover that Albert, a photographer, is emotionally bereft. Patsy makes it her mission to mould him into her kind of man. She introduces him to her mother (Elizabeth Wilson) and father (Vincent Gardenia), who are as surprised as Albert when they learn there’s going to be a wedding.

Little Murders takes the many little annoyances of daily life in a big city and ramps them up to the max. The result is some crazed commentary on ‘70s urban America. People swallowed up by the cities. Alone, scared, confused, anxious, defeated. They become numbed to the horrors taking place around them. Gould is magnificent as the apathetic Alfred, sleepwalking through his life. Little Murders is a madcap and relentless black comedy which enshrouds a thought-provoking and clever drama.

Indicator Limited Edition Special Features:

• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with actor Elliott Gould and writer Jules Feiffer
• Audio commentary with journalist Samm Deighan
• Introductions to the film by Alan Arkin and Jules Feiffer (2018)
• A Certain Amount of Black (2018, 18 mins): new interview with acclaimed actor-producer Elliott Gould
• Beginner’s Luck (2018, 19 mins): new interview with celebrated actor-director Alan Arkin
• Acts of Random Violence (2018, 32 mins): new interview with award-winning writer and satirist Jules Feiffer, author of the original stage play and screenplay adaptation of Little Murders
• Speaking of Films: ‘Little Murders’ (1972, 30 mins): original promotional recording of Jules Feiffer in discussion with academics and critics Susan Rice, Robert Geller, Leonard Maltin and Sean Driscoll
• Radio interviews (1971, 32 mins): promotional recordings of Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland and Alan Arkin, specially prepared for radio station syndication
• Original theatrical trailer
• Trailer commentary with Larry Karaszewski (2013, 4 mins): a short critical appreciation
• Original TV spots
• Original radio spots
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with an essay by Jim O’Rourke, cast and crew profiles, original promotional discussion guide, contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

Little Murders is released on Blu-ray by Powerhouse Films as part of their Indicator Series on 30 April.

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